Three games want so badly to pleasure you tonight. Let down your guard, America, and let in the joy.
(Games listed in order of likely awesomness. NERD scores in parentheses.)
Minnesota (7) at Texas (8) | 8:10pm ET
Twins: Francisco Liriano (10)
151.1 IP, 9.81 K/9, 2.97 BB/9. .350 BABIP, 53.8% GB, 2.9% HR/FB, 3.00 xFIP
Rangers: Cliff Lee (10)
174.2 IP, 7.78 K/9, 0.57 BB/9, .301 BABIP, 40.3% GB, 6.0% HR/FB, 3.28 xFIP
• Because you and I have never met — and because we’ve definitely never heart-to-hearted our respective world views over a couple-few glasses of white zin — I don’t exactly know what you’re looking for out of life. A home in a nice school district? A sweet yacht and stuff? I don’t know. Anyway, I’m guessing one thing you don’t mind — especially since you’re the sort of enthusiast to point his internet browser this way — is a clash between the American League’s two best pitchers. That’s what this game features. In other words: boo-yah.
• You don’t need to care even one lick about the Mariners to read Jeff Sullivan’s writing at Lookout Landing. You just have to wanna say bonjour to a prose style equal parts masculine and magical. Anyway, Sully (as no one should ever call him) is so good, he can even make you care about the whole Colin Cowherd-Cliff Lee thing.
• Question: Who will start in center for the Twinkers? The Shadow knows! (And Ron Gardenhire, too, probably.) (And also maybe Parker Hageman.)
Arizona (9) at San Diego (10) | 6:35pm ET
DBacks: Ian Kennedy (5)
151.0 IP, 7.63 K/9, 3.34 BB/9, .277 BABIP, 36.4% GB, 12.4% HR/FB, 4.44 xFIP
Pads: Kevin Correia (5)
132.2 IP, 6.85 K/9, 3.87 BB/9, .298 BABIP, 49.1% GB, 14.2% HR/FB, 4.22 xFIP
• When you talk about Carson Cistulli, you’re talking about a guy who’s shocked to learn that Ian Kennedy’s thrown 151 innings this year. Go, you guy.
• When you talk about Carson Cistulli, you’re also talking about a guy who’s pretty surprised that Kevin Correia — who calls the giant, cavernous, and salty-aired Petco Park his home — currently sports an inflated HR/FB rate. Even curiouser is this next thing. Correia at home: 76.0 IP, 16.2% HR/FB. Correia on the road: 56.2 IP, 11.5% HR/FB.
• Chris Denorfia is repping Wheaton College* pretty hard these days. Line: 238 PA, .289/.354/.483 (.317 BABIP), .360 wOBA, 134 wRC+, 1.8 WAR. Also, he appears to’ve taken over center field duties with Tony Gwynn Jr. out of commission.
*Sorry. I meant THE Wheaton College.
If I Had My Druthers
• There’d be a book called Correia on the Road.
• Correia on the Road would be “a largely autobiographical work based on the spontaneous road trips of Correia and his friends across mid-century America.”
• Oh yeah, and Kevin Correia would’ve also time-traveled here from mid-century America.
Saint Louis (5) at Washington (6) | 7:05pm ET
Cards: Chris Carpenter (6)
184.1 IP, 6.98 K/9. 2.49 BB/9, .275 BABIP, 50.9% GB, 10.7% HR/FB, 3.80 xFIP
Nats: Jordan Zimmermann (10*)
(2009) 91.1 IP, 9.07 K/9, 2.86 BB/9. .339 BABIP, 43.5% GB, 12.2% HR/FB, 3.39 xFIP
• This marks Zimmermann’s season debut — a kinda exciting thing, when you consider what he was able to do last year before succumbing to arm troubles and, eventually, Tommy John surgery. Here’s Zimmermann’s line through four Triple-A starts: 17.0 IP, 12 K, 3 BB, 0 HR, 2.32 FIP. The K numbers don’t appear to be there yet, but the control seems to’ve returned. Anyway, we’ll see.
• Ryan Ludwick was traded to the San Diego Padres on July 31st. Here’s Jon Jay‘s line since then: .324/.378/.397 (.393 BABIP). That’s about a .353 wOBA. With something closer to a .325 BABIP, however, that’s more like a .300 wOBA. I bet Jay’s true talent lies somewhere above that (and I hope it does, as he’s on my fantasy team), but it’ll be interesting to see how things play out.
• If you didn’t read Dave Cameron’s piece about Ryan Zimmerman last week, (a) that’s kind of embarrassing and (b) do it by clicking here. Here’s what he says: were he to start a franchise, he’d very likely do it with Ryan Zimmerman — a.k.a. the same exact Ryan Zimmerman you can watch in this game.
These games are very likely playing at some kind of sporty channel near you.
pNERD = Pitcher NERD
tNERD = Team NERD
Game = Time and Average NERD for Game
* = Estimated NERD
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